Fall 2016 FacStaff Change Guide update

Areas of study are defined by individual colors.New and ongoing changes to ACC processes and programs will impact students, faculty, and staff throughout the new academic year. Stay updated through the faculty/staff announcements on the ACC Faculty & Staff webpage. Following is a summary of recent developments and updates.

Advising and counseling

ACC advisor and counselor roles are more delineated. Advisors assigned to specific areas of study (AoS) will help students identify and plan their academic program. Counselors assist students with personal, academic, financial, and mental health issues.

Students with fewer than 12 college credits will be assigned to advisors based on their area of study and home campus. Current students or new students with 12 or more credits can meet with AoS advisor or faculty advisor.

New student advising is by appointment. The college is moving to an appointment system for all advising, although in some instances same-day appointments are available.

See advisors for each AoS at New webpage helps students, faculty connect with area-of-study advisors.

Application and enrollment steps/student onboarding

Incoming ACC students now follow four primary enrollment steps:

  1. View “First Step” online presentation
  2. Apply
  3. Attend an Area of Study Information Session
  4. Register for classes

Prospective students complete a streamlined application after viewing the First Step video. They receive follow-up messaging and assistance from ACC enrollment management staff, including information about Area of Study Information Sessions. Learn more at Pathways Update: Links to new webpages and information.

Areas of study

ACC programs are now clustered under 10 areas of study (AoS). View them on the Areas of Study webpage.

Areas of study faculty coordinators

Area of study faculty coordinators will ensure instructional and support services within each area of study are aligned and complementary. They will also help develop activities to build student engagement. See the list of coordinators at New faculty coordinators support areas of study.

Area of Study Information Sessions


Jay Stephens, adjunct associate professor of geology, talks to students at a recent Area of Study Information Session.

Almost 2,000 students have attended Area of Study Information Sessions since June, and another 1,000 incoming students are scheduled to attend. The sessions are required for first-time-in-college students with fewer than 12 credits. Students returning to college may attend an AoS session or meet one-on-one with an advisor.

Students requiring developmental education courses are referred to an advisor after their Area of Study Information Session.

Block scheduling

A number of programs plan to offer block scheduling to give students the predictability of having all of their classes at a certain time, such as morning, evening, or weekends. State law passed last year requires community colleges to establish block scheduling for at least five degree or certificate programs. Programs offering block scheduling this fall are:

  • Accounting – Accounting Technician Associate of Applied Science degree (AAS), Accounting Clerk certificate, Accounting Tax Specialist AAS, Accounting Tax certificate, Accounting Specialist AAS
  • Criminal Justice – Texas Peace Officer Level I certificate
  • Culinary Arts – AAS degree and certificate
  • Fire Protection Technology – Firefighter Level I certificate
  • Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technology — Level I certificate
  • Hospitality, Meeting & Event Planning, Travel & Tourism – AAS degree and certificate
  • Pharmacy Technician – Level I certificate
  • Welding Technology – Structural Welding Level I certificate; Welding Inspection Level I certificate

Campus regions

ACC campuses are grouped into the following regions. Establishing campus regions supports the guided pathways implementation and will help the college more effectively meet students’ needs.

  • North: Northridge, Round Rock, Cypress Creek, and Elgin
  • Central: Highland, Eastview, and Rio Grande
  • South: Pinnacle, Hays, Riverside, and South Austin

Degree and certificates ─ new programs and name changes

  • Auto Body Repair & Refinishing is Auto Collision Repair & Refinishing Technology (ABRT)
  • Speech is Communication Studies (SPEE)
  • Physical Fitness Technology is Personal Fitness Trainer (PHFT)
  • Photography is Professional Photography (PHOT)

New programs

  • Integrated Reading Writing (INRW); co-chairs – Dolores Segura and Laura Ore
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Management (LSCM); chair – William Louden
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS); chair – Lisa Perez-Nichols

Developmental education – integrated reading/writing

The college has merged developmental reading and writing programs and is offering additional integrated reading and writing courses. The merged program will continue to offer developmental reading and writing courses paired with college-level courses.

Early College High School

A new early college high school for Round Rock ISD students opens August 23 and will be the first to be located entirely on an ACC campus. See Round Rock early college high school FAQs.

Enrollment management/recruiting: Ellucian CRM Recruit implementation

ACC is implementing Ellucian’s CRM Recruit constituent relationship management (CRM) software. The application will help the college reach out to new and prospective students with information specific to their situation and goals.

Financial aid ─ new FAFSA schedule

Students can submit a 2017–18 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as early as October 1. Students will use income information from the previous tax year. For the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (or parents) report income information from 2015 rather than 2016 information.

Financial Aid TV

Financial Aid TV (FATV) features more than 200 brief online videos with answers to common questions about financial aid, paying for college, and money management. Students can access the videos 24/7 on computer or mobile device; they also can be viewed on several ACC financial aid webpages, such as Obtain Financial Aid.

 ‘MyACC’ portal

A new portal system, “MyACC,” will replace Online Services by end of year. The portal gives students a single access point for receiving information and completing tasks, such as registering, paying tuition, or logging into Blackboard.

Online tutoring program changes

ACC is replacing the Smarthinking online tutoring program with Brainfuse. Students will have unlimited access to a tutor 24/7 and may request an ACC tutor for some subjects during certain hours. The service offers a writing lab, math tutoring, test prep tools, and more. The Learning Labs are field-testing the program throughout the fall. Both programs will be available until September 30.

Open educational resources

ACC will collaborate with three Texas community college districts to develop degree programs that can be completed using open educational resources (OER). ACC will schedule its first grant-funded OER course in spring 2017. See the list of OER courses to be developed or learn more at ACC receives grant to develop open educational resources.

Registration guide/Destination: ACC enrollment map

ACC no longer produces the print registration guide or Destination: ACC enrollment map. Important dates and deadlines are posted on the ACC website.

Registration periods

All current and former students ― regardless of the number of credits they have ― can register during the first two weeks of the registration period. New, current, and former students may register when open registration begins. The schedule allows new students to register sooner before classes start. See registration dates.

Registration and degree planning systems

ACC has discontinued WebAdvisor. Students now use the Self-Service Student Planning tool for course planning and registration. Learn about Student Planning and view a brief tutorial.

Students and advisors can still use Degree Map for degree planning. The college has implemented an updated version of Degree Map, which features enhanced planning functions, including the ability to plan multiple semesters and credentials or more complex scenarios.

Strategic Plan

A draft of the college’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan is posted online. Faculty and staff may use the online form with the document to suggest additions to the plan, note omissions, or recommend targets/outcomes. See 2017-2021 Strategic Plan available for review. (ACCemail login required).

Student Money Management Office

The recently launched Student Money Management Office offers workshops and resources to students and employees about money matters. Faculty or students can request a workshop for their class or organization. Learn more on the Student Money Management Office webpage.

Student success course

All degree plans include a required success course (EDUC 1300) for students with fewer than 12 college credits. Almost 240 sections are scheduled for fall. The college plans to develop a contextualized version of the course for each area of study.

Website redesign

ACC continues to update the college website to reflect the areas of study. A full website redesign is underway.


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